One of today’s most influential worship leaders, songwriters and artists, Paul Baloche, releases Christmas Worship Vol. 2 globally Oct. 2 through Integrity Music. The album features Christmas classics seamlessly married with vertical worship lyrics, and is an extension of Baloche’s 30-year mission in ministry to equip worshipers and worship leaders with songs and resources that help them express glory to God.
For singer/songwriter Paul Baloche, writer of worship standards like “Open The Eyes Of My Heart,” “Hosanna,” “Our God Saves,” “Your Name” and “A New Hallelujah,” Christmas is a season of worship. With Christmas Worship, Baloche is aiming higher than nostalgia; higher than recreating the sounds of the season.
“There is so much content and beauty and theology in a song like ‘Hark the Herald Angels Sing’ and ‘What Child Is This?,’ but most of these traditional carols are not vertical in nature; not speaking to the Lord,” says Baloche. “‘O Holy Night’ is a perfect example. At the climax, we’re singing, hands raised, to a thing, ‘Oh night divine.’ By adding a simple chorus at the end, a response to the beauty of the lyric, melody and the nostalgia of these beautiful carols, and then segueing into a first-person response in keeping with the Advent season, it’s amazing the shift in perspective.”
“Paul has a genuine passion to see local church worship leaders equipped to lead their churches week in and week out,” says Adrian Thompson, VP Song & Artist Development at Integrity Music. “This project comes from Paul’s desire to see local churches engaged in worship during the advent season rather than just having a season of special church music.”
Produced by Baloche and Michael Rossback (The Brilliance/Desperation Band) Christmas Worship Vol. 2 follows the 2013 release of Christmas Worship (Vol. 1) and continues the collaborative, community aesthetic for which Baloche is known: Modern folk/worship duo All Sons & Daughters put a beautifully simple spin on “Joy To the World/Our God Saves” while Irish worship leader Kathryn Scott joins Baloche on “O Holy Night/Love Shines Bright.” Lenny LeBlanc, with whom Baloche wrote the Dove Award winning song, “Above All,” contributes to the reimagining of “The First Noel/Above All,” and Onajé Jefferson (Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir/New Breed) gives “It Came Upon A Midnight Clear/Glorious” a soulful gospel vibe. WorshipMob’s Gina Milne adds a sweet tenderness to “What Child Is This/Praise Emmanuel” and veteran British worship leader Graham Kendrick and Baloche reimagine their song “Creation’s King,” now titled “Newborn King.”
Another highlight on Christmas Worship Vol. 2 is “When Love Crossed Over,” a new song written by Baloche’s wife Rita and performed by Madison Cunningham, a young Calvary Chapel worship leader and daughter of Costa Mesa worship pastor Scott Cunningham. In addition, the traditional “Silent Night” gets the Baloche family treatment, with Rita and their son David (who also plays guitar on the project) joining Paul on vocals.
“In many ways, I’m even more excited about Christmas Worship Vol. 2 because of the collective, community nature of it,” Baloche says. “So many friendships and relationships have been forged through the years. This is like a ‘Paul Baloche and Friends’ project, which is such a beautiful thing. There are different streams and generations represented in this effort, and each one inspires me in different ways to write and sing and be better.”
In addition to the new album, Baloche’s touring/workshop/teaching schedule takes him around the world. Having recently returned from a concert/workshop in Manilla (Philippines) followed by the Experience Conference in Orlando, he will host “LeadWorship” workshops beginning today in Portland (Sept. 18-19) and in Fairfield, CT (Oct. 30-31). He will also be featured at a “Christmas In September: A Conversation With Paul Baloche” Multitracks webinar Tuesday, Sept. 22 beginning at 2pm CT. Following a workshop and concert in Issaquah, WA (Nov. 13-14), Baloche travels back overseas to The Netherlands and the United Kingdom before returning to North America for a series of Canadian Christmas events to begin Dec. 1. All the latest tour news can be found at http://www.leadworship.com/calendar/.